As I break and slow down to a stop
Besides the gates that lead to an avenue
To the mud-built house farther,
I see my friend’s face, darkening.
‘STOP!’ he shouts, ‘Do not come further!’
Knowing him, knowing how brutal he is
With those who love him, I smile and reply –
‘No, only till the gates’.
‘You treat me like shit, so does your wife
You use and leave me like a curry leaf.
You been to see them, haven’t you,’ he glares,
‘Go, go away!’
I realize his grievance; I had met
A mutual friend, now his bitter foe.
My son, standing beside, is appalled
At the gurgling of f-words
From someone whom he liked.
Later we depart, at the unopened gates,
My friend showing no remorse.
Knowing my quick temper,
My son asks why I didn’t tell him
To shut up or else.
I smile; he is my friend, I tell him.
Gates open either way,
Never, close the gates,
Never, shut the doors
Leave them ajar
Lest later when you open them,
You open them
To barren, empty lands.
***** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 04-11-2010
Painting by Gayle Faucette Wisbon